Boat Beer | Carton Brewing Company

166 Reviews
Boat BeerBoat Beer

Brewed by:
Carton Brewing Company
New Jersey, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Described by the brewer as more of an American Pale Ale. It's not an India Pale Ale.

Boat Beer is designed to be complex enough to merit drinking a few without being crippled by alcohol. Kolsch yeast and German malts are combined to be crisp and refreshing, while a generous amount of American hops have been added to keep it remarkable. Expect it to dance out of the glass with a whack of grapefruit and open into a crisp, stony tangle of white and yellow fruit with pine and moss notes. An IPA for everyday drinking, drink boat beer when you are thirsty from softball, fishing, or explaining why your team is best.

Session Ale
ABV: 4.2% | IBU: 35 | SRM: 3.5

Added by Citadel82 on 10-24-2011

For Trade:
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Reviews: 166 | Ratings: 1,247
Photo of q33jeff
2.12/5  rDev -47.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2


Aroma: lemon , citrus, Taste is ashtray and grapefruit. Appearance: yellow hazy, white head small.
Not pleasant. Like a punch on the face.


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Photo of funkybuddhism
2.57/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I poured this beer from a fresh can that was canned less than a week ago on 10/27/16.

Pine bomb. Very much an east-coast style pale ale. Tastes thin and boring. Appears yellow and fizzy. I don't understand how this has such a high rating.

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Photo of corby112
2.79/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Draft at The Pour House in Westmont, NJ.

Pours a very hazy and bright golden banana yellow color with a half finger white head that immediately settles into a thin ring.  Minimal spotty lacing left behind.  Looks more like a Berliner than a pale ale and the lack of retention/lacing hurts the appearance.

Subtle floral hop aroma with faint zesty spice and a pale malt backbone. A touch or citrus along with grass and pine needle followed by biscuit, bread and some light fruit.  

Medium body wih tight carbonation and a crisp, spicy hop bite that lingers over the pale malts into a dry finish.  Bitter and spicy with grassy hops and pine needle along with pepper and corianders.  This is countered by a pale malt backbone with hints of bread yeast, biscuit and light fruit.  Kind of tame and flavors seem a bit off to me.  Feels more like a Belgian golden/pale ale with zesty spice and bland hop character.  A lot of people who's palates I trust really like this beer so I'd like to give it another try at some point but my first impression isn't a very good one.  

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Photo of DrederickTatum
2.86/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I've had this many times and I keep wanting to like it but I guess it's just not for me. Smells nice enough with a good mix of citrus and pine but the taste is where it turns south for me. I mostly get astringent bitterness with a very small hint of grapefruit and nothing else. For the abv it's not exactly bad but I'm a little confused by the high ratings this gets.

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Photo of mooseisloose
2.99/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Boat. Simple as it gets. Let's give it a whirl. Popping the tall boy, I get a grapefruit hop waft, almost West Coast-like. But wait this is East coast. Pours to a bright slightly cloudy yellow with a bright white head. On the taste this brew has a good semi bitter hoppiness right off the bat. Very similar in taste to an ESB. Taste continues with a balanced middle then a semi bitter aftertaste. Not a bad brew. Simple as the name states, potentially a session brew as well as it packs good flavor for a 4.2% AC. For what it is it is decent and not at all offensive.

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Photo of ShowerBeers
3/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had it on tap and I am not sure if the tap line was dirty or something was missing. Tasted crisp but lacked something other sessions I have had did not.

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Photo of McGee666
3/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on draft in Philadelphia. Been hearing about Carton and I was excited to try one of their offerings. Pours very light with about a half finger of head that disappeared almost immediately. Not much in the aroma department (Faint grains and mild citrus)...but I really had to search. Taste followed suit, almost reminds me of drinking my dad's beer...not necessarily a bad thing if I were mowing the lawn or fishing (on a boat). The dryness is almost off-putting taking away any flavor this beer has to offer.

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Photo of kscaldef
3/5  rDev -26.3%

Doesn't smell like much, doesn't taste like much. I guess it's okay if you want something sort of watery on a hot day, but there's much more flavorful beers to be had in the "session beer" arena.

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Photo of cookedw
3.17/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours cloudy, little retention. Hoppier Pale ale, mostly of the piney variety, with a little lemon. Very thin, even for a session beer. Not feeling the style of this beer at all - with the season IPAs, you get a mouth full of flavor, but this just takes like a watery, slightly hoppier Pale. I mean, it might be good for the style, but what's the point? It needs some west coast style pizzazz.

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Photo of dasenebler
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

Carton BOAT Session Ale
16oz can, no date

Pours a hazy yellow with a greenish tinge. No head to speak of really. Spotty lacing. (2.5)

Aroma is hoppy and lemony, with a slight “dank” note. Possibly Amarillo? American hops all the way. Nice. (4)

First impression is of huge bitterness stuff for a 4.2% ABV brew. Earthy hop notes contrast the strong grapefruit note. Tastes like straight pilsner malt, maybe some wheat. Very dry. Could use more body. Finish is bitter and a touch grainy. (3, 3)

Aroma was great, but in the end, the beer drinks a bit unbalanced with the heavy bitterness and lack of malt backbone, though I don’t dislike it. A very firm session ale. (3.25)

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Photo of JackRWatkins
3.26/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: minimal head, pale yellow, a bit hazy
S: nice citrus hopp bitterness, subtle undertones of dankness
T: decent piney hop bitterness and a dash of citrus
M: tad oily not necessarily in a bad way
O: for a session ale it is very good, it is a very full flavored beer, that being said if I had to choose between SNPA or this 4 times out of 5 i'd take the SNPA, but it is a decent beer

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Photo of KTCamm
3.43/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Morris Tap and Grill in Randolph NJ. Always try to taste a local when I am there.

Pours clear golden color, see through ring of white foam topper. Strong citrus rind nose. Hints of rye in the mix. Lingering bitter at the conclusion. Light flavor jabs, and then hop hits hard at the end. Unbalanced.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.45/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Manhattan Ginger Man.

A: Clear straw body with a persistent cap of fine, creamy white foam. Nice.

S: Vibrant, hoppy aroma. Quite herbal, a little piney, and backed up with some bitter, chalky minerality. Very good indeed.

T: Spicy, herbal hops up front, but the flavors die into muddled bitterness midway through. Clean, slightly citric finish and a purely bitter aftertaste. Pretty average.

M: Light, creamy, slightly spiky.

O: Great aroma, mediocre taste, but overall above average - especially given the relatively low ABV.


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Photo of ELS
3.52/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a slightly above average session IPA, nothing special. I think the high ratings are due to the fact that for a low abv beer, it packs a nice little hop punch. Unfortunately, I think the hops just aren't that pleasing. They're a bit astringent and linger poorly on the palette. I pick up the grapefruit, but then just a sharp bitter taste that doesn't work for me. Otherwise it drinks pretty easy. Glad I tried it but will not seek out.

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Photo of JRed
3.54/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured a little into a glass just to see the bod. Pours a clear bright yellow with a white film of head. Smells of moss, grapefruit, mild sweet honey. Tastes of grapefruit, wet grass, hop bitterness jumps in and beats up the palate, and the beer finished mostly clean with light sweetness lingering. Light bodied with medium carbonation. A great, easy-drinking beer. A go-to for all occasions.

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Photo of Jmamay22
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a hazy and cloudy straw yellow with a slightly orange tint. Off white head quickly fades out to a thin collar. Scent of pine, grapefruit and tropical fruit.

First impression is that themuthfeel is a bit fizzy approaching seltzer. Taste begins with a bready sweetness and turns bitter with a nice floral and citrus flavor. Finishes with a bitter hop bite. Very drinkable and enjoyable. Good for a hot summer day and enjoying a few. I like the move by some breweries to offer lower alcohol beers that are full on flavor, but they can be difficult to make with less to hide behind.

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Photo of Mikerri6
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

We loved this beer during our first pint. Then during our second pint, we discovered that it's so dry and so citrusy that it was making us pucker. We didn't want to keep drinking it.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz. can poured into a Cantillon wine glass. Just cuz.

Appearance - Hazy pale orange. Medium white head that settles to a thin collar and lots of surface wisps.

Smell - Grapefruit hops. Grassy hops. Almost no malt at all. Just a bit of cracker.

Taste - Lots of orange and grassy hops. Cracker malt. Even a little toasty. Aggressively bitter in the back end.

Mouthfeel - Very light. I could, and will, put this away quickly. Well carbonated.

Overall - Nice session. I'm not a boat person, but I could drink a few of these on dry land too.

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Photo of woemad
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16oz can ninja’d to my mailbox by SammyJaxxx. According to the stamp on the bottom, this was canned on March 24, 2016.

Poured into an Iron Goat pint glass, this was a hazy, “lemonaid-y”, straw-like gold color, with a bone-white head that was creamy looking and pockmarked by bubbles on the surface.

Lightly floral and lemony citrus hop aroma, along with some grassy notes.

Light in the flavor department, but not to an unpleasant degree. It’s not something that seems “vacant” the way a lot of summer blond ales do. At 35 IBUs, there’s considerable hop flavor packed into something that has the same percentage of alcohol as a Bud Lite. What keeps me from scoring higher is that there’s also a sharp, astringent thing happening just after the tastebuds get their first bit of flavor and kind of dominates to the fadeout that if at a slightly higher level would be downright unpleasant. The malts contribute a modest backbone, not much else. Lightly dry at the swallow.

Light bodied, with a watery and slightly prickly mouthfeel.

If not for the sharp, astringent thing that sort of takes over, I’d really dig this as a warm weather beer. Certainly it’s a stepping stone away from bland blonde ales toward an ISA, a style I happen to dig in the right context. Maybe it’s an aberration, and I will try it again if able, but as this particular example stands, 16oz will be enough.

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Photo of alchemist32
3.72/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

They have this beer on tap at Trinity restaurant in Keyport, NJ. It pours a fizzy yellow color with minimal head, leaving behind faint lacing on the glass, its arromatics are comprised of a yeast and citrus undertones, its mouthfeel is somewhat carbonated but it does not hurt the complex subtle flavors of this excellent session beer.

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Photo of anonymoose
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer has a hazy yellow color. The aroma is reminiscent of the malt profile in kolsch beer. The taste is very similar to a kolsch but with added bitterness and hop taste that lingers on the palate.

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Photo of breardon1776
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pale frosty, cloudy straw color. Malty and yeasty. Some mild hops. Crisp and clean. Good for a flavorful beer without not too much ABV and heaviness.

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Photo of SteveB24
3.76/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look- color is a murky tan, pours two fingers of fizzy head that settles into spotty lacing.
Smell- mildly grassy, hint of citrus
Taste-pretty grassy and earthy, little but of lemon peel, pretty bitter on the back end for a session beer.
Feel- light feel, nicely carbonated, finish is crisp and refreshing.
Overall-not something I would run to buy again but I definitely see the appeal as an alternative to a lager or wheat beer for sessioning.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

First had: on tap at Carton

Hazy golden-yellow pour with a small bubbly head that fizzled down to a ringlet, leaving a few specks of lacing on the glass. Pretty surprising blast of hops in the nose, citrusy, piney, crisp. For a 4.2% brew, this really had a lot of flavor, and the hop profile almost pushed it into IPA territory IMO. Citrus pith, lemon and orange, pine needles, floral notes, crisp bitterness that didn't turn foul in the aftertaste. Body was light-medium, mouthfeel was snappy and dry, carbonation was moderate. Simple and flavorful. I could see this being an everyday beer.

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Photo of aleigator
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours an entirely hazed orange-golden pulp color with a medium sized, bubbly head.

Smells of a flower accompanied fruit blend consisting of fresh squeezed lemon, ripe orange and a hint of juicy mango. Has a herbal undertone with wet grass and a hint of cakey sweet malts.

Offers a higher carbonation, while the beer's mouthfeel remains soft, with light, refreshing, yet hoppy taste.

Tastes of a mineralic aqueous beginning with dry lemon peel, unripe oranges and sweeter malts. More lemon becoms apparent during the mid palate with an utmost light and refreshing, dry finish.

Borderline watery due to its light body, while establishing a crisp and dry hop profile, which keeps the palate entertained.

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Boat Beer from Carton Brewing Company
4.07 out of 5 based on 1,247 ratings.
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